Sharing visions of Edgeryders: the first community survey responses



As 2013 is coming to an end, we have a community survey up and running: you, me and everyone you know is invited to help shape a GRAND VISION. This is an overview of the 27 pieces of thoughtful input we have so far, hopefully it helps put things into perspective for those having contributed already and equally, inspire others to jump on board and fill in their thoughts. If you’re up for hacking the responses yourself, go here.

What do Edgeryders think we should achieve or become, all together?

The strongest and most frequent visionary ideas seem to be, in my reading, those:

  • inward looking, stating the value of our coming and working together: A vision of Edgeryders making it possible for all of us struggling to be inspired, collaborate and get compensated for our skill and passion.

    “Edgeryders for me can, should and is becoming a New Work Order for the current and future generations. I would like this platform to be able to derive economic, cultural and political freedom for its participants, stakeholders and global community as a whole.”

    “I want my effort to become part of a critical mass and to see in my life proclaimed the obsolescence of previous methods.”

  •  outward looking, stating our relationship with the world: A vision of Edgeryders as solving the true problems our Big society is faced with, and in so doing leveraging the establishment to acknowledge it as the new reality.

    “I’d like Edgeryders to be the first living example of an open consultancy where members collaborate with one another on meaningful projects that create great socio-economical-cultural and political impact. The open consultancy is transparent, flexible and human.”

    “Becoming a strong and efficient tool for “leveraging the establishment” for our own projects. Those young now will take over the continent some day in the future anyway, so it is only fair for the current establishment to gradually cede control and grant freedom and perspective. And establishment includes the policy space, big business, established NGOs and what have you.”

    “To help show that across Europe, we are already creating new ways of making a living, it’s up to the market to catch up, not the other way around.”

How can we get there?

An overwhelming majority of Edgeryders taking up the survey agreed to lend one day per year or more to support the infrastructure and collaborate with others on specific themes (choose from list). I think our major asset is having learned to facilitate and encourage coordination to make things happen, relying only on ourselves. We need to keep the bar up high and especially to get better at it, and for that some actionables mentioned are very useful:

  • create physical Edgeryders centers across Europe, to better connect with each other if in proximity
  • build together a Wikipedia of Learning Materials and focus on learning pathways
  • grow our portofolio of projects, eg to increase our legitimacy as open consultancy: "Retain the 'do-ocracy' ethos of actions and self-responsibility but have some 'gateway' encouragement programme to help people make first steps with project proposals"
  • set up “how to” accessible guides for project making - I would also like Edgeryders to present more about their projects (not accomplishments but efforts) more directly, [so it] doesn't have a "cool name. what is it?" feel. Write a case study of yourselves. Make a roving unmonastery that can travel with you.
  • do collaborative projects with other orgs and communities and build on each other's reputation; scale if it scales
  • communicate more and better (and in "PLAIN ENGLISH" - no jargon or insider terminology). This last one is among my personal resolutions having read someone stating I am an edgeryder since spring but i wasnt very well informed about the last meeting (re:LOTE). Moreover, i wanted so much to help but i didnt know how i could help.

Here is where all the responses to the survey are stored and a link to full size popplet graph. I invite you to have a go at the data, it’s all very inspiring and mine is only a birds eye view. Also paging those whose input is so valuable already to see what they think: [pacheca], [Vidrij Da], [jonocosa], [Ilaria], [Tiago], [Matthias], [Hazzard], [ThomasVisCom], [phm], [fredd], [mishek]  …

So, who else wants to see Edgeryders achieve great things?? There’s still time to share your thoughts on our future.

Want to learn how to create content for the new digital journalism?
From dreaming up projects to collaboration
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Community Call 14th May: Nepal + Spot the Future Bucharest + social media drumbeat
Notes from ICT (HORIZON 2020, November 2013)
Community Call 14th May: Nepal + Spot the Future Bucharest + social media drumbeat
:green_book: Community Builder Manual

Excellent work!

This is really good stuff. The distinction between inward– and outward-looking may even be fundamental: at LOTE3 it was very clear that we had “doers”, trying to get stuff done against all odds, and “carers” focused on helping the collective effort stay sustainable. I also like the actionables – though they pose the problem of how to actually enact them!

I am not too convinced about the “communicate more and better”. Communication always involves a shared effort. Several people spent significant effort putting the word out for LOTE3. There will always be people who, no matter how much you try, will manage to miss the emails and the tweets and the Facebook status and the notifications from the ER platform. IMHO we’ll just have to live with it.


I can identify with this !

Although I think it’s very important to try to be very specific about “solving the true problems our Big society is faced with”.

Only if we identify these “true problems”, we will find real purpose in trying to solve them- together. What’s more, our quest for self-employment will then be fully justifiable, inside and outside.

So, why don’t we make a list and articulate the “true problems”?

I would start with these:

  1. Unhealthy and unsustainable excess (greed- the ultimate addiction, obesity, confusion because of too much and contradictory information, advertising -induced desires that are not “our” desires, too much emphasis on ownership, short product life-cycles, commodification of otherwise free and voluntary social services and structures, like baby-sitting or taking care of elderly people,  having learned to see solutions always from a consumer perspective - leading to the usual first question “What does it cost?” , disability to see and re-define value, only focusing on “prices”.

feel free to identify more “true problems”!


That would be a very long list

… especially if you want to make it operational, [ThomasVisCom]. For example, here is a problem which seems to be somewhat true: qualification inflation (see here for a thoughtful and fun perspective by British blogger Charlie Stross), the phenomenon whereby a masters degree of today buys you as much as a bachelor’s degree of testerday, and a high school diploma of the day beforer yesterday. This is a big, thorny problem that affects very many people. Anyone who cracks it will have made a major contribution. And yet, it is just one of many problems, looming large on one or more domain but not necessarily unlocking system-level regeneration.

That said, if you are not thinking of an exhaustive list and “just” want to draw attention to some problem that you think is important this might be a valuable contribution.



… the problem with education is that we’re reaching a point where it doesn’t buy you anything at all. At least it’s not a guarantee for landing a good position anymore, while it is guaranteed that you will spend a lot of money if you want decent education. And then again, all this is old paradigma thinking.

What happened in the first industrial revolution with physical power is now happening with intellectual power: We’re outsourcing it to the machines.

What are we going to do with the free time that we have gained all of a sudden? Sudoku and going to the gym, right?

No, I certainly don’t want an exhaustive list, I “just” want to know what an individual edgeryder considers a “true problem”, so that It would become clearer to everyone where to look for solutions.

Thank you, Alberto, for adding this problem to the list.


Life’s a mess without mindfulness

fascinating that Lote 3 combined do-ERs and those caring about the wellbeing of the doing-the-heavy-lifting heros and here we are discussing what challenges in the world we are trying to address. As on of the ‘care crew’ I would like to hint that getting too caught up in the ‘doing’ realm at the expense of the ‘being’ realm is what is dragging the world to hell in a handcart as well as potentially sucking our most productive do-ERs towards burn out or sell out. In life there are ‘things’, like our work, projects, possessions, identity, homes and egos. Then there is the space around those things, being aware of your motivations, your body in gravity, your inner feelings, the universal sense, wise actions, resonance with others, love. That awareness makes for less mess. And provides perspective. But to get mindful and the prioritising benefits of awareness, we have to explore ways to stop or slow the engine running. Take a pause right now. Look around. Feel the temperature on your skin, notice the light in your environment. And your there! It’s not difficult, just easy to forget. Some call it the illusive obvious. For a year now, every morning before I reach for the iPad or ‘to do’ list, I take the advice of Rumi and pick up an instrument, read a poem, stroke a cat, look at a work of art or read a snatch of philosophy. It’s a good start for changing the world.


Agree. how can us being together raise awareness?

[Vidrij Da] thanks for raising this - looking at the tentative visions I’ve drafted based on the survey I think it’s not coming across enough, or at all. It may not stand high enough in a shared vision? I don’t know. how could we better put it then? “Be gentle carers of one another”?

For me, it’s about teaching ourselves to pay attention and grow aware, it rarely just happens. example: Lote3 in Matera, despite all the agitation and organisational work which it required, was the only context this year for me personally when I was put in the position to lie down and grow aware (through Ronen’s yoga session), learn about slowing down the engine (in Nadia’s burnout session) or think of resources I could use to get there (the p2p support session). It was because someone (the “care crew”?) put up proposals for the sessions in the LOTE event. BUT the context to have those sessions was created through the running engine.

I think it’s one thing to learn how to be more aware yourself (like you probably did throughout your life and experience), and another one to embed this on us all coming together in EdgeRyders - making it part of our vision + actionables, and paving the way for others to learn it, myself included. You probably don’t want to hear this, again from me :slight_smile: but embedding this onto ER needs some doers as well to create contexts for growing aware, no? stuff like: unDojo retreats, or the Burnout App or what not… not my ideas, but I’ve been hearing all sorts ever since Lote. They only need initiative and coordination, which is what we’re good at together…

that’s more or less my rant. re-reading your comment now sounds more like: “Let’s change the world not (only) by solving problems, but by taking a pause from them” And then my question that follows would be: “ok, but how do we learn to take a pause from them unless we work to make possible taking a pause?” yes, I gonna need to be told firmly to take a pause :wink:


“Stop, listen & go”

Reading Vidrij Da’s comment on mindfulness reminds me of David Steindl-Rast statement: “stop, listen, and go”.

David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be grateful.

In my opinion, I do think it is important to state this attitude in our ER’s vision as we are acknowledging success as happiness, an integration of mind and body, of reflection and action.

Besides this also benefits community dynamics as one needs to be aware, needs to be recognized as an individual by himself, thus by the community,  in order to understand his position, role, responsibilities, so that this person can back effectively give back to the community.

I am no yoga expert but that’s clearly one of many takeaways for me of yoga benefits: detach oneself from the group, so that it is easier to introspect/observe, understand oneself, in order to reattach and give back.

I do have a proposal for this: how about creating skype/hangout +/- 1 min interviews of ERs. This would help to recognize each one as individual and at the same time it would generate content and create visibility.

Hope all is well. Here, much change!


Good Idea, Tiago!

I like the idea of producing a 1min “selfie” video (so fashionable, right now), where we state our “vision”, and then, to overcome the “selfishness” of the selfie and to underline the integration of body and mind, we reach with our right hand out of the frame, and in the next clip, the edgeryder takes the hand (has to be a stand-in, unfortunately) and goes on with his own vision, thereby growing an organic edgeryder cordon. Let’s just start, Tiago!


Let’s start with… YOU!

So no hangout, nor skype. Just individual videos 1 min max of “selfie” (self interview) with:

  1. One’s vision of Edgeryders,

  2. What this person is doing to reach that vision,

  3. Reach right hand out to the frame (beginning + end)

Does that make sense?


great idea

Tiago, you full of ideas man :slight_smile: I love it, would be great to get the ball rolling, then the rest could follow. For me it’s easier to see someone doing it first. I’m guessing no tech requirements for the moment?

For who doesn’t want to repeat themselves, you can draw inspiration from your own answer to the survey, there’s some pretty good stuff in there already!


Monkey see, monkey do

I concur with [Noemi]. Nonvisual thinkers out there (myself included) would benefit from seeing an example or two. [Tiago] and [ThomasVisCom], it’s your idea, you start! :slight_smile:


Open Corporation / Shell - my 2p’s worth

This for me is the most interesting idea floating around in the edgeryders universe.

I can’t really say it much better than this piece from adrian hons history of the future - the full article can be read here

"This small circular sticker, about two centimetres square, contains three interlinked rings. Known as the Braid, the symbol could be found on thousands of books, artworks, songs, games, and apps, and it represented a new kind of financial support for artists, writers, and designers, distinct from the market or patronage. Scholar Lewis Hoult explains its significance:

“The Braid symbol meant two things: firstly, that the work was created by members of a co-operative in which profits were reinvested; and secondly, that works were at least partly crowdfunded by individuals through pre-sales and donations. It was a genuinely supportive community that led towards a fairer, more open, and more diverse creative world.”"

perhaps it is my punk DIY collective background, tho i recognise it’s extreme value) but the 10% cut / re-investment policy back to edgeryders as the mother ship is very cool, and perhaps more can be done around that?


It’s about symbiosis

There is noting magic about the 10% number. I guess it would pay for the two basic services that Edgeryders LBG aims to supply to the community: this platform and the yearly meetup. But we can do better than that. We can, and should, look to build services that we can all share. Example: if your project needs social media engagement you can budget for, say, one person 2 days a week. We could then pool that 40% job with other projects needing to do the same and make a full time job in social media engagement. The position  could then be filled by recruiting a capable person from the community.